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Reflecting the contemporary historical upheavals and exploring the dark forces of the subconscious mind, the subversive artworks painted by the Spanish romantic painter and printmaker, Francisco Goya, are best known for influencing and foreshadowing the art of Expressionists and Surrealists in the 20th century.

Sometimes called the father of modern art, Goya was born on 30th March, 1746, in Fuendetodos, Aragón, Spain. As a student of José Luzán Martínez, Goya began studying painting around the age of fourteen. Later, he moved to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael, a painter of Spanish royalty. For further his art education he went to Rome, where he studied the classic works.

Goya rose to prominence in the artistic scene through his series of tapestry cartoons and became the court painter to the Spanish Crown in 1779. The following year he admitted into the Royal Academy of San Fernando. Establishing a reputation as a portrait artist in royal circles, Goya skillfully captured the tiniest elements of faces and clothes of his subjects, such as “The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children” (1787-1788).

In 1792, Goya became completely deaf after suffering from a unknown malady. He started to work on non commissioned paintings during his recovery, including portraits of women from all walks of life. He was named the director of the Royal Academy in 1795. Turning to etching, Goya created a series of images called “Los Caprichos” in 1799, which has been viewed as his commentary on political and social events.

Goya also used his art to record moments of country’s history. In 1814, he painted “The Third of May”, which showed the true human cost of war. The work depicted the uprising in Madrid against French forces. Despite the personal risks, Goya expressed his dissatisfaction of the with the ruler class in his series of etching called “Los Disparates”, in which he seemed to illustrate the absurdity of the times.

The political climate subsequently became so tense that Goya went into exile in 1824. He moved to Bordeaux, France, where he spent the remainder of his life. During this time, he painted portraits of friends also living in exile. Goya died on April 16, 1828, in Bordeaux, France.

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